It may be the middle of winter in July, but Geraldine, a picturesque village in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, promises to give you a warm and friendly welcome. Geraldine Ukefest brings the whole town to life over the four-day festival - The Big Strum, Ukes in Cafes, Workshops, Concerts, OpenMics - providing plenty of learning and performance opportunities.

This year we are celebrating our 10th Annual Geraldine Ukefest with an all pirate extravaganza so be prepared for much music, mayhem and mirth!


THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: Geraldine Ukefest’s main goal is to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to perform. So, while the festival’s main event, The Big Concert, features well-known national and international professional artists, The Opening Night Invitational showcases a lineup of amateur and semi-professional talent, some of whom might be appearing on stage for the very first time. And if you’re ready to step up onto a smaller stage, a number of OpenMics and Jams are available for you to strut your stuff for a generous and welcoming audience.

ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN: Picking, strumming, bar chords, rhythm, singing, TAB - there’s always something that you feel could do with a little improvement, or you might want to try out something completely new. Geraldine Ukefest offers a huge choice of Workshops covering a wide variety of skills, all of which take place in classrooms and halls within walking distance of each other. Workshop tutors are experts in their fields who will do their very best to impart some of their knowledge and skill to you in the 90 minute sessions.

MUSIC ON THE MENU: During the festival, Geraldine’s wonderful variety of cafés and eateries play host to an eclectic lineup of talent. Ukulele acts from around New Zealand, and sometimes further afield, are invited/can apply, to entertain during the lunch break. This afternoon event creates a huge buzz around the town, bringing Geraldine Ukefest right into the heart of the village for attendees and residents alike to enjoy. It is also a great opportunity for foodies to sample all the different homegrown tastes that Geraldine has on offer - Take your pick.

ALL TOGETHER NOW: In 2013, from an idea scribbled on a napkin after a bottle of wine at a local café, Geraldine Ukefest directors Hugh & Fi McCafferty thought if might be fun to run a small mid-winter event for ukulele players - they called it The Big Strum. They would later be encouraged to add a crash course for beginners, a free community concert, Ukes in Church and an OpenMic. The Big Strum is still a key feature of Geraldine Ukefest, with hundreds of beginners and pros of all generations coming together to bash away at songs from genres of every kind. Ukes are available to borrow, chord sheets are projected onto a huge screen.

NO ORDINARY FESTIVAL: Geraldine can be found nestled into the foothills of New Zealand’s Southern Alps which provide a sheltered microclimate. Temperatures averaging 10˚C/50˚F in July will have you packing thermal underwear and your warmest sweaters - but make sure to also bring your favourite hat, scarf, wig, or lei, to brighten everyone’s spirits! If you do forget something, Geraldine has plenty of unique shops and boutiques who’ll be happy to help - Go window shopping. And to ensure maximum cosiness, the entire festival takes place at indoor venues, with a lot of effort put into festival attendees every comfort.

YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Geraldine has a good number of accommodation options from motels to bed and breakfasts, many situated within walking distance of the festival venues. Alternatively, there's also plenty of opportunities to stay somewhere a bit more homely at one of the district's many farm and home stay establishments - View accommodation. If you plan a longer stay, there are art galleries, a cinema, and two museums to visit. For the more adventurous there are river and forest walks nearby, opportunities for biking, plenty of places to explore, and a choice of two local golf clubs - Check it out.


 Geraldine 7930, South Canterbury, New Zealand.  Email or call us on  027 899 0703


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